Temple and The Man

I finally managed to get to the man on Friday night right before it closed to visitors to prepare it for the burn the next night.

It was stunning.

Inside the structure were large wraparound movie screens playing animation which finally ended in a tribute to Larry Harvey, the recently deceased founder of Burning Man.

Here is a picture of the man during the day (not sure who to credit the photo to, so if it’s yours, lmk):

After wandering around the man for a bit, we headed over to temple.

Temple was serene and reverent and I took the time to leave my tribute for my children and my pets in the temple (see blue fabric on wooden beam, below).

The temple smelled amazing with incense burning everywhere.

Everywhere you looked there were tributes to everyone.

I felt emotional.

I’m pretty sure at some point I’m going to breakdown and have a good cry.

It’s been a good burn but so much has happened I feel like I’m behind in processing my feelings.

I may just cry when I leave the playa.

And it will be cathartic.

Lost Penguin

Yummy, who I’ve known for about three years, showed up at my camp Wednesday afternoon and we arranged to meet up later and tour the playa.

First we checked out his camp in the Lost Penguins.

Then we took off to go to  my camp to get goggles and a face mask – two CRITICAL items I forgot to grab.

After that, it was just a hop, skip, and a jump over to the Empress Tea Room to have a cup of tea – SERVED IN REAL TEA CUPS WITH SAUCERS!

We were also served cookies.

The tea was outstanding and is called Bengal Spice Tea – apparently it’s Celestial Seasonings and you can buy it virtually anywhere.

It was delicious!

We rode out to Esplanade and dodged traffic on our bikes until we arrived at Ali Bar Bar.

None of my friends were bartending so we left and rode all the way down E Street (cue the Bruce Springsteen jokes) into a headwind from 9:00 to 6:00 during a dust storm.

A quick shower before we jumped into the water feature for a nice soak and conversation.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Burning Man?!

Trick or Treat: A Glimpse into Narnia

Every Monday night, a group of enterprising burners band together to trick to treat the nearby camps and Center Camp.

It’s a 2+ hour event where we wander all over asking for treats.

If we visit a camp that doesn’t have treats, we play a trick.

I dressed up as the St. Pauli Girl.

We also had a devil/angel, a Power Ranger, a zebra, two bees, a witch, a Minecraft robot and much much more.

We  managed to procure:  stickers, caramel corn, lollipops, quesadillas (made by flame thrower – see pic, below), etc.

We happened upon a camp and yelled, “TRICK OR TREAT!”

They opened up the door of a closet and it led to a chamber where we could walk into a cuddle puddle / chill space.

It was like opening a door to Narnia.

All that walking did me in and I was in bed at midnight, resting peacefully.

I know, I know.

Next time I will stay out longer.

Day 2: Adventuring

The day started with a dust storm to end all dust storms.

It was so dusty that they closed Gate and were turning people around at Nixon because no more cars were allowed on the playa.

Crazy!

And back at camp, my camp mates and I were trying to set up a 20 foot by 20 foot shade structure during the worst of the dust storm.

You try it and see how far you get.

Nevertheless, chores were completed.

Naps were attained.

And I even took a “shower” with baby wipes before getting out of camp for the first time.

My first stop?

Ali Bar Bar!

I went to find friends and say hello.

After Ali Bar Bar, Tejas and I rode out to Planet Earth where it was 80s night.

I was served a very small margarita by a very flirtatious bartender.

She held my hand.

Gazed in my eyes.

We had a moment.

Then Tejas got lost and we wound up at Hardly’s Saloon where I partook in a SHOTSKI (a row of shot glasses affixed to a “ski” or board which makes everyone take a shot at the same time).

Mine was apple schnapps, I think.

Finally, on to HomeBrew Camp where we chatted up the bartender and drank beers.

And finally, we went home. . .

. . .where we were met by a dear friend enjoying his first burn.

He shared an ENTIRE bottle of Oban single malt with us before I finally crawled into my bed and slept.

Burning Man, I love you!

Burning Man 2018: Venturing Out

It’s a well known fact that I have a hard time seeing at night.

As I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten worse.

So night time on the playa is particularly challenging for me.

You’d think with all the bright lights, navigation would be a snap.

But in reality, all the lights make it challenging for me to navigate.

And THE ONE PLACE WHERE LIGHTS ARE NEEDED – the street signs – there are NO LIGHTS!

WTF!?

So I literally have to bike up to the sign and squint at it in the dark in order to read it.

This is why I travel with friends.

It’s much easier to just follow a friend with good spatial awareness than it is to get lost for hours trying to find your way home on the playa.

Then again, not all who wander are lost.

There is something to be said for charting new territory.

Here are some night shots from my Burning Man adventure:

Weather

It’s my LEAST favorite kind of weather at Burning Man.

It’s windy.

And all that wind kicks up the dust.

White out conditions?

We got ’em!

Enough dust in the sky so we can’t see the sun?

Check.

Getting every molecule of your body covered in dust?

Yup.

I’m hunkering down in Tejas’ RV right now.

Avoiding the outdoors.

My hair feels like straw

There’s a fine coating of dust over my entire body.

All I’m dreaming of is my sister’s waterfall shower.

How good will it feel to get clean again?

Fucking awesome.

Just so you know, here’s a clip of the weather when Tejas and I waited at Gate for 4 hours for entry the Saturday BEFORE Burning Man started.

Le sigh.

Le sigh

First Saturday night on the playa.

I envisioned myself sitting in camp, socializing with friends into the wee hours of the morning.

Laughing.

Telling jokes.

Or perhaps hopping on my bike and taking a little tour of our growing city.

I DEFINITELY didn’t picture what happened.

I drank TOO MUCH gin TOO QUICKLY and had to go to bed.

Le sigh.

Tejas, on the other hand, stayed out all night and didn’t return until the sun was coming up.

Le stud.

She’s crafty!

Yesterday was art day for my sister and I.

First we had a delicious vegan breakfast at Grate Full Gardens in downtown Reno.

Then we went to the Nevada Art Museum and stared at art.

This was outside and made me think of Burning Man:

We were so INSPIRED by the art we saw we decided to try our own hand at it and went to Clay Canvas to paint pottery.

I started with a small blank platter.

I added a little paint and voila. . . a nice cheese platter for my mom:

What amused me about the whole painting process is that my sister and I picked up a bottle of wine to sip and enjoy while we were painting.

Right next door to The Clay Canvas is a restaurant that sells bottles of wine to go.

It’s a match made in heaven.

So we got our bottle of wine, slipped it into a brown baggie, and opened it at the pottery store.

Since we didn’t have cups, I grabbed two dixie cups.

Classy, eh?

Well, the hostess at the clay store OBVIOUSLY thought this was insane, because she came to us while we were sipping out dixie cups and she handed us two clear plastic cups.

I mean, it’s okay to drink wine while you paint, but could you please drink your wine out of a proper cup?

That’s my sister and I – always classing up a joint!

But was it orgasmic?

On Sunday I took to the track, racetrack that is, and I did five laps around the Stockton 99 Speedway.

For those of you who have never been there, the Stockton speedway is teeny tiny. It’s all turns. I basically spent two minutes of my life in a car going fast while making a left-hand turn.

What kind of car was I in? Well to answer you in a highly scientific fashion, it was a green car.

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Was Cole Trickle there? Actually, he was, but he called himself Richie from Modesto and he was obviously so bored with having to drive people around the track that he barely said two words to me. Thank you Richie from Modesto.

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What Richie lacked and interpersonal skills, he made up for in sheer balls-to-the-walls driving.

OR AT LEAST IT FELT THAT WAY TO ME.

Was it thrilling? You bet. Was it ORGASMIC?

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It sure came effing close, but no Big Bang…which is probably good when you’re riding in a race car.

So without further adieu… a 2 minute video of me making left hand turns at a high rate of speed…

Mamma Mia!

I’m in Reno and it’s FUCKING hot.

It reminds me that in just a few days, I’ll be sitting in the heat in the Black Rock Desert while I enjoy myself at Burning Man.

At least right now I can go into an air conditioned movie theater and watch a film.

Which is EXACTLY what I did. . .

I saw Mamma Mia 2 with my sister Lisa and I BAWLED MY BLOODY EYES OUT!

I must’ve cried at least a half dozen times.

We’re not talking about the kind of crying where your eyes fill up with tears and you have to dab at them to keep from crying.

No, we’re talking FULL ON UGLY KARDASHIAN CRYING where you sob audibly in the theater and wipe your nose and your eyes with the same tissue, oblivious to the fact you’re getting snot ALL OVER YOUR FACE.

That’s the kind of crying I did.

And when Donna finally appeared in the film. . . well, all I can say is that I get emotional even now (three hours later) thinking how lucky we are the Meryl Streep is still alive.

Thank God!

Of course I can’t even look at a Swedish flag without thinking of (and missing) my Swede, so the scenes with Bill only served to make me miss him more.

But here I am, back at my sister’s house, enjoying a gin and tonic with blood oranges, all puffy eyed and runny nose.

It’s been a while since I had a good cry.